I personally am a "fiction first" sort of player, and would love to be a bit more loose with the encounter budget for the sake of drama and verisimilitude, but my players demand balance and cry foul if they feel it isn't there.
Its kind of a funny disconnect actually, on Saturday I had someone on this thread accusing me of "neurotic adherence to strict balance guidelines," but I had one of my players complaining to me that he felt like I was "just picking CRs out of a hat and throwing them at the party randomly."
Pretty consistent complaints are:
1: They can't do a full clear of a dungeon in one go without using consumables, and this bugs them even though they have always still made a net profit and are always above suggested WBL.
2: The wizard uses most of his spells in doing so and doesn't have as many as he would like to make scrolls or sell for profit in town.*
In this particular campaign I let the players call a retreat at any time without consequences, as there are several new players in the group and I am trying to build up their confidence without having to risk accidental TPKs.
*: This is a peculiarity of my particular house rules. I use a long rest variant so players don't have unlimited spells during downtime, but I allow them to save up unused spells or convert them to gold. Players can still purchase or craft items normally without expending spell slots.